Homeschool update

Shawna wrapped up her first term of homeschooling Xander, our oldest son, this week. (That’s one of the many bonuses of homeschooling: you can break early.) So far, it’s going really well. There’s the odd day that Xander puts up a fuss, but for the most part he loves it. And that’s because he gets to do stuff like this:

A homemade hieroglyphics scroll.

Shawna deserves huge credit for managing to put together incredibly creative lessons for him while also taking care of three other kids. So far Xander’s learned about dinosaurs, the human body, ancient Egypt, and now he’s working on ancient Greece. Turns out he’s like his Mom, fascinated by history and architecture, so he absolutely loved the Egypt section. We read countless books and even watched a BBC documentary on ancient Pharaohs, especially King Tutankhamen. Xander was riveted. He’s loving the Greek myths as well. I wish I’d learned about Trojan horses and cyclopes and Minotaurs when I was in Grade Primary!

Shawna’s made it so much fun for him that he usually can’t wait to “do school.” And he’s really picking up a lot too. I’m amazed at how well he’s reading, and he’ll sit and write out complete thoughts and sentences about what he’s learning.

I’m so glad we went this route for him. As I said in my last post on homeschooling, I’m not out to knock the public school system or make anyone feel guilty that they’re not homeschooling. It is a big commitment, and it really isn’t for every kid (or every parent). But for our creative, independent, strong-willed (i.e. stubborn) five-year-old, it’s been such a perfect fit that I honestly can’t imagine putting him on a bus to school right now.

I like that he still feels so connected to our cozy family unit, not off doing his own thing. I like that he hasn’t picked up the kind of vocabulary that even Primary students come home with from school sometimes. (I heard him say “crap!” for the first time tonight and it kind of startled me… then I realized he said it when he lost a man in a video game, which is usually when I say crap under my breath. My bad.)

For me the most tell-tale sign is just how much he loves learning. It hasn’t become a chore; he hasn’t lost that spark when his mind starts whirring. If anything, it’s brighter than ever. And it’s a lot of fun to watch.

Theseus and the Minotaur, interpreted in Lego. Xander designed this himself and it's actually solvable, via a secret passage. Pretty impressive.



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